The number of people worldwide aged 60 and above will more than double to two billion from 2012 to 2050, finds the Organizations for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But countries aren’t moving fast enough to respond to the specialized care needed for an aging population.
Canada is no different, and it’s healthcare delivery models need to change, says KPMG’s Global Healthcare Practice Report. Resource challenges, including low availability of long-term elderly care services and a dwindling healthcare workforce, must be addressed before the healthcare system reaches a critical level.
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“The reality is that while we know the population is aging and will impact on our healthcare system, efforts to address this challenge have been sporadic and insufficient,” says Georgina Black, National Health Sector Lead, KPMG. “Now is the time for a national conversation about elder care and to develop new approaches to ensure the growing senior population in Canada receives the treatment, care and attention it needs and deserves.”
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The report identifies 10 areas of action to shape a positive future for long-term care:
- Deliver person-centered care
- Integrate care
- Rethink medical care
- Look beyond institutional boundaries to the community
- Invest in the formal and informal workforce
- Embrace technology
- Focus on outcomes
- Develop better funding models
- Carry out more research
- Change attitudes to aging
“Long-term care receives little attention and investment in Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Wai Chiong Loke, Director, KPMG’s Healthcare Advisory for Singapore and Asia-Pacific. “This report shows that improving cultural attitudes and increasing healthcare funding and management will ensure that elderly citizens can and will lead dignified and fulfilling lives.”
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